By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — Former Cushing teacher Seth Robert Swaim has avoided a Sept. 9 jury trial by pleading guilty to sexting a 13-year-old female student on Oct. 8, 2018, for which he was ordered last week to serve one year in the Payne County Jail, followed by nine years’ probation with extensive conditions, court records show.
Swaim, now 25, of Stillwater, who had been free on $50,000 bail until his Aug. 23 sentencing, was ordered to have no contact with his victim, register as a sex offender, provide a DNA sample, and pay the cost of his incarceration, as well as $600 in other assessments, court records show.
Swaim was given concurrent jail terms by District Judge Phillip Corley — consisting of 30 days for being intoxicated in public and 10 days for hitting two vehicles in his apartment complex parking lot in Stillwater without notifying the owners on May 9, 2018.
Swaim was given a concurrent six-month jail term for violating the probation he had earlier received for aggravated drunk driving on Oct. 3, 2017, in Stillwater, court records show.
Swaim was arrested on Oct. 9, 2018, in Cushing by Stillwater Police Detective Sherae LeJeune, a member of the Oklahoma Crimes Against Children Task Force, who was asked by Cushing police to aid in an investigation involving the solicitation of a minor, according to her affidavit.
“I was informed that a 24-year-old Cushing Public School teacher was actively talking to a 13-year-old female student…via Snapchat Messenger. The content of the conversation involved the request of nude images of the minor,” the Stillwater detective wrote in her affidavit
The girl’s parents had contacted Cushing police out of concern for their daughter, the affidavit said.
At the Cushing police station where the girl and her parents were present, the Stillwater police detective was given the girl’s cellphone that was open to the Snapchat message conversation, the affidavit said.
“The conversation with Swaim was active and ongoing at that moment,” the affidavit said.
Cushing Police Sgt. Carson Watts had been allowed by the girl and her parents to take over the girl’s Snapchat account to continue conversations with Swaim, the affidavit said.
“I read through the conversation and learned that Swaim was making plans to meet with (the girl) at the park at 9th Place and Highland Avenue (in Cushing) that evening after 7:30 p.m. He asked her to send pictures of herself until they were able to meet,” the Stillwater detective wrote in her affidavit.
“Based on the conversation, I did believe Swaim did solicit sexual conduct and did engage in conversation for sexual interest with a person he knew to be a minor by technology (cell phone). I determined that it was vital to get Swaim in custody,” the Stillwater detective wrote in her affidavit.
If Swaim had been convicted by a jury of sexting the student while he was a teacher, he could have received as much as 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, court records show.